DC Comics is starting the future of its superhero universe by looking to its past, doing so with a new one-shot called Generation One: Age of Mysteries, the publisher announced Thursday.

The announcement involves a series of five one-shot comics, which the publisher says will both “spotlight DC’s super hero heritage, while revealing secrets that will shape its future!” The first is Generation One: Age of Mysteries, and it is due out May 27. All of these books will be oversized prestige format comics that will continue releasing monthly through October. DC says each of the five will be “detailing a different age in DC’s storied, super heroic legacy!”

Generation One: Age of Mysteries will be scripted by Andy Schmidt with art by Doug Mahnke. The book will feature major events from the history of the DC Universe, as seen through the eyes of a list of characters: Wonder Woman, Lucius Fox, Alfred Pennyworth, Green Lantern (Alan Scott), The Spectre (Jim Corrigan), Mister Terrific (Terry Sloane), and more.

DC also unveiled the list of creators for the other one-shots, with the writers being Brian Michael Bendis, Dan Jurgens, Robert Venditti, and Joshua Williamson. Artists, meanwhile, will include Bryan Hitch, Mikel Janín, Ivan Reis, David Marquez, and more. All of the one-shots will feature covers by Jim Cheung and variants by Gary Frank.

The other comics were also given names Thursday (it was quite the info dump), and you can read those now too…Generation Two: Age of the Metahuman, Generation Three: Age of Crisis, Generation Four: Age of Rebirth and Generation Five: Age of Tomorrow. This all follows an announcement last week about Generation Zero: Gods Among Us, a Free Comic Book Day one-shot from DC that hits the first Saturday in May. That book features Wally West (the true and best Flash) as sort of a guide, leading readers through the past, into the present, and on to the future.

The publisher also noted Thursday that the Generation series will explore secrets from DC’s history…and it even shared the list! Gahhhh! So much info!

Check it out here:

  • What was the previously undocumented “big bang” of the Age of Mysteries?
  • Which character truly ushers in the dawn of Super Heroes, inspiring all the rest?
  • What was the real reason behind the Justice Society of America’s retirement?
  • Which Golden Age hero will become history’s greatest villain?
  • What contentious alliance kept the Wayne family dynasty alive after Thomas and Martha’s deaths?
  • Who are the new, never-seen-before wildcards that will be instrumental in fashioning DC’s push to the future?

Phew. So that’s all the new stuff that was announced Thursday. With that out of the way, we should note this all lines up pretty closely with reporting about DC’s plans for its future, specifically about DC Comics 5G.

For nearly a year, DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio has been hinting at a new official timeline for the shared superhero universe, one that includes the entirety of the publisher’s 80-plus years of superhero continuity. DiDio first mentioned this timeline at SDCC in July, before giving a quick glimpse of it to the audience at NYCC in October.

In that timeline, there are five generations. Wonder Woman is the first superhero to reveal herself to the world, kicking off the first generation in World War I (see the Snyder/Hitch short that will also be in the FCBD issue). A second generation starts with the appearance of Superman, and a third spans from Crisis on Infinite Earths (1986) to Flashpoint (2011). The fourth generation is the one we’re in now, and a fifth generation is yet to come. The rumor is this will all be made possible by a mix of Hypertime and Crisis, explaining how characters like Batman, for example, could have been active for so many years.

We learned today that we’re getting a one-shot that takes place within each of those generations, and the subtitles for these books seem to imply that the above chronological demarcations were correct (yay!).

Anyway, when DiDio was doling out the first hints of these giant plans to the public at NYCC last year, he was interjecting things like, “Hey, I don’t remember reading that story!” between his generational talk. Well, looks like now we’re going to get to read those stories, almost as if Dan and company have been planning this for a while!

The last thing to note about all of this is that the rumor is the fifth generation will mark a major change to the status quo of characters like Batman and Superman, seeing them replaced by younger heroes. With Batman, for example, possibly having his mantle taken over by the son of Lucius Fox, and Superman stepping aside for his own son, Jon Kent, etc.

We will, obviously, be learning more each month starting in May.

Here’s a quote from DiDio that accompanied the announcement:

The Generation series of specials are built to bring the new DC timeline to life. With Generation One: Age of Mysteries and every subsequent volume we’ll be shining a spotlight on the 80-plus-year publishing history of the DC universe while charting the course for the bright future of DC’s characters. All of our greatest stories and events will create the backdrop and context for the great new adventures we have planned. Everything counts, and we guarantee there’ll be surprises along the way!



  1. Oh goodness. 100 bucks says Bendis and Marquez are the team on Generation Five (a.k.a. The Age of Marvel Mimicry). And who’s Andy Schmidt? What has he written for DC before?

  2. I’d say the biggest “mysteries” are why Wonder Woman is suddenly Ground Zero (though I think we all know the reason for that) and why anyone thinks this mishegas is necessary.

  3. I’ve heard of Andy Schmidt. He’s a former assistant editor at Marvel who oversaw Annihilation, former editor at IDW, and the founder of the ComicsExperience creator teaching and mentoring program. I’m bothered more by Lobdell’s presence in the line-up, to be honest. Of these creators, I really only like Bendis and Venditti (Jurgens and Williamson are just… okay).

    As for the fact that they’re all middle-aged (…not sure about Williamson) white dudes? Yeah, it’s not great. You can have some white men (am one, so not out to get white men), but it wouldn’t hurt to have a woman or two, or a man or two who aren’t white, working on these.

  4. I re-read my copy of the Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special last night, which opens with a WWII story of Wonder Woman. Is this the TRUE first appearance of the 5G timeline???


  5. Not everyone noticed this but Diana having history with the JSA in WWII was actually first officially got introduced to the timeline in Doomsday Clock #12. It’s the page after 5G was first mentioned, there’s dialogue form newsman in a panel where Wonder Woman joins the fight.

    So yes, the true first appearance of 5G is in Doomsday Clock.

  6. Actually 5G first appeared in Doomsday Clock 12. It even referred to it by name and a page after confirmed Diana’s new history in World War II.

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